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Letting words flow

I used to be quite organized in my thinking process. I’m good at working things through in my mind, and I think that’s one reason the book writing has gone so well without an outline. My mind just keeps things in their place, which I’m finding is especially valuable when you’re losing your eyesight. However, in trying to keep things straight in rewriting book four in the Sam Osborne, I’m completely mixed up.  I finished the first draft without any difficulty, then decided I needed more about my villain so I wrote a few extra chapters to insert into the plot.  The trouble is I can’t find the chapters I think those inserts should go around. Old age probably plays a part.

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Dreamstime

But it would be much easier if I could just run out printed versions of the chapters. That requires a lot of wasted paper and ink, which probably won’t do me much good anyway―my eyesight makes it difficult to read any printed letters. Now when I write, I have to struggle with listening to what I’ve typed being read back to me. Without a printed copy, my mind seems to be befuddled.  I also have to admit, rewriting is not as fun as writing the first draft.

Meanwhile, I’ve allowed my creative brain to start thinking about a theme for a new book of short stories. Those of you who have kept up with what Genilee and I are doing know that, while going crazy waiting for book two (Wretched Fate, which is due out any day now) to come out, I finalized and Genilee edited a book of stories

 based on the holidays of the year. I so much enjoyed working on those stories that I’m ready to tackle a new series. While I love detective Sam Osborne and what we’ve done with his books, it was wonderful to take a break from him and come up with what was really my fifth book, Letting Life Flow. I took each of the year’s most celebrated holidays and wrote a different kind of story, using different points of view and tones and different types of plots (love story, mystery, sentimental), which made the writing process even more fun. Both Genilee and I are pleased with result. And I can’t begin to tell you how pleased we are that we’ve already got a publisher who is interested in putting out the book by next summer, and has already talked to us about ideas for illustrations and a possible joint launch with one of my daughter Allyn’s children’s books. It certainly is exciting to have someone come to us to offer their backing. I’ll write more about this new book and our stories as developments happen. In the meantime, I’m allowing my befuddled mind breaks from trying to organize book four of the Sam Osborne series by coming up with ideas for what will be my sixth book—more short stories.

Meanwhile, Genilee and I continue our quest to get the word out about our writing. One of our most rece

nt speaking engagements was both a challenge and a thrill. We talked before a large group of senior citizens—the First Choice club—which is an interdenominational group that meets once a month in Woodbridge. It was both exciting and scary to talk in front of a group of about 80 men and women. The excitement won out once we got started speaking about why we write, how we collaborate, etc. The group made us feel very important through their receptiveness and their very good questions, and we came away inspired and proud to be doing what we do. This week, we have a signing and smaller talk at Fairmont retirement community in a new location for us, Manassas, VA.

The speaking engagements we’ve had have been a real surprise to both Genilee and I. Neither of us had done much speaking before writing these books. Getting up in front of a group of people to share your life’s passion has been great for both of us. People really do think it’s wonderful that we are pursuing our life’s passion so late in life.

At the same time, we are going through the inevitable waiting game. Wretched Fate is ready to come out and the most recent launch date we’ve been given is Nov. 4. We are anxious to get the book out and begin marketing it alongside Twist of Fate, and we hope to have time to do that before the holidays. We’ve learned, however, that there are many things that get in the way of our plans.

Emotional ups and downs seem to be life of a writer.  But at least we know one thing for sure (as evidenced by the new publishing possibility): we’re heading in the right direction.–F. Sharon Swope

Coming Nov. 4

Coming Nov. 4

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Stress-Free Zone

Writing is the one thing I do for myself that involves no anxiety, uncertainty or vacillation. I won’t allow it. We all need one aspect of our lives where we’re just free to be ourselves without influence of outside pressure. I’ve decided it will be writing.

What that means on a daily basis is that, no matter what I face that day or how much of a work load I carry, I give myself one hour first thing in the morning with only a cup of coffee between sleep and empty or unfinished pages. I don’t even allow the baleful eyes of my sweet hound dog to tempt me away from my task. She’s learned, after a year or so of this routine, that the leash is next on my list.

What it means on the weekends is that I allow the computer to call with a voice louder than domestic tasks. I

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don’t always listen to that voice—if I did, I’d have laundry to the ceiling, and I’d never get a closet or drawer cleaned out. But I give that voice the prominence it deserves, and sometimes it wins out over other sounds. [Oh, okay, being a lousy homemaker helps in this case.]

But even with major book events, I let only the joy of being an author come through the doors with me. I’m shy by nature so speaking before groups or sitting behind a table trying to get passersby to stop and look at our book should not be comfortable for me. And I feel the jitters bubble towards the surface occasionally. Instead of waiting for them to break through, however, I remind myself that I’m there as a writer. Why should I care if someone ignores me or I stumble over my words?

The only experience I have to compare this with is my wedding. I planned, I saved, I fussed before the event. But when the day came, and despite the fact I knew I’d trip walking up the steps in a gown with a train, I honestly felt no nervousness. I asked myself after the ceremony why and came up with this answer: because I knew what I was doing was right. I didn’t doubt for a second that I was marrying the right man so I didn’t care what others thought of the wedding arrangements, how I looked, or whether I fell flat on my face. I was exactly where I needed to be.

When I sit before the computer playing with words; when I sit with mom at my side and a stack of books in front of us; when mom and I find ourselves among a group of strangers looking to be entertained or informed, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be. It took a long time to get here, but who cares. I’ve arrived.

–Genilee Swope Parente

Wretched2

Look for Wretched Fate coming out this month!

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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